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Pennsylvania man accused of fleeing to Mexico with 16-year-old girl agrees to extradition

first_imgAllentown Police Department(MIAMI) — The man accused of fleeing to Mexico with a teenage girl has agreed to be extradited to his home state of Pennsylvania, he said in a brief court appearance in Miami on Monday.Amy Yu, 16, went missing March 5 with Kevin Esterly, 45, police said, alleging that she left willingly. She has since returned home safely.The two flew from Philadelphia to Cancun that night, police say.Yu’s mother reported her missing to the Allentown Police Department that day.A member of Esterly’s family reported him as missing or endangered March 7, the same day authorities issued an arrest warrant for him and charged him with interference with the custody of children, police said.An Amber Alert was issued in Mexico for Yu and Saturday the two were found there.Yu was unharmed and in good health and has since returned to Allentown, the police said.Meanwhile, authorities flew Esterly to Miami where he is in custody pending extradition. In the short hearing on Monday morning, Esterly said, “I’d like to go back to Pennsylvania as soon as possible.”Pennsylvania authorities have 15 days to pick him up.Esterly, a father of four daughters, had met the teen at church, and Yu became friends with one of Esterly’s children, according to the attorney for Esterly’s wife, Stacey Esterly.The Esterlys had been fighting over his alleged relationship with the teen, Stacey Esterly’s attorney, John Waldron, told ABC News. Stacey Esterly threatened to go to the police about her husband’s alleged sexual relationship with Yu shortly before the two fled, Waldron said.When Yu was asked by members of the Leigh Country Child Advocacy Center whether she was having a relationship with Esterly, she denied it, said Det. Gary Hammer of the Colonial Regional Police, which has jurisdiction over her school, Lehigh Valley Academy.But Yu altered her school records and listed Esterly as her stepfather, Hammer added. And at least 10 times between December and Feb. 9, Esterly signed her out of school early, Hammer told ABC News two weeks ago.Feb. 9 was the day when the teen’s mother came to the school to pick up her daughter, “and the school said her stepfather already signed her out of school,” Hammer said.“The mom explained she is a single mother,” Hammer said. “There is no stepfather.”Lehigh Valley Academy confirmed that Esterly has been on school grounds before and was last there Feb. 9.“After that date, due to circumstances we cannot disclose pursuant to student privacy constraints, he was prohibited from entering school grounds, and the police were to be notified if he returned,” the school said in a statement two weeks ago.The school called the Colonial Regional Police immediately and it started investigating. The department found video of Esterly’s signing the teen out and leaving with her, Hammer said.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Small plane carrying four people crashes near New York’s Long Island

first_imgandrew_t/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — A small plane with four people on board crashed off the coast of New York’s Long Island on Saturday.According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a Piper PA31 Navajo aircraft crashed about one mile off the coast of Indian Wells Beach. One person from the aircraft was recovered, while the three others were still missing hours later.The Federal Aviation Administration said they will investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board will determine the probable cause of the accident.Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Pittsburgh synagogue-shooting suspect wounded in gunfight leaves hospital, set to make court appearance

first_imgJeff Swensen/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) — The man accused of killing 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue has been discharged from a hospital and is scheduled to make his first court appearance Monday afternoon, officials said.Robert Bowers, 46, was shot multiple times in a gunfight with police that capped Saturday’s massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue. He was discharged from Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh at 9:45 a.m. on Monday, a hospital spokeswoman told ABC News.Bowers is scheduled to make his first court appearance before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh at 1:30 p.m.He is charged with 29 federal counts, including hate crimes. His charges include 11 counts of obstruction of exercise of religious beliefs resulting in death, 11 counts of use of a firearm to commit murder, four counts of obstruction of exercise of religious belief resulting in bodily injury to a public safety officer and three counts of use and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.The four counts of bodily injury to a public safety officer stem from the four police officers injured in the shooting.If convicted, Bowers could face the death penalty.In a social media message that Bowers allegedly posted shortly before he stormed the synagogue on Saturday morning, Bowers referred to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS), a more than 100-year-old nonprofit that aids refugees. He wrote that HIAS brings in “invaders that kill our people,” concluding, “Screw your optics, I’m going in.”Bowers was allegedly wielding three Glock 357 handguns and an AR-15 assault rifle when he stormed the temple Saturday morning and shot congregants at random, law enforcement officials said at a news conference on Sunday.“All the weapons he brought into the facility were used,” said Bob Jones, special agent in charge of the FBI Pittsburgh office.The 20-minute rampage ended in a gun battle with SWAT team members on the third floor of the synagogue. Even as he was being treated for his wounds, Bowers allegedly screamed at a SWAT office that he wanted “all Jews to die,” according to a criminal complaint filed against him.Killed in the attack were Joyce Fienberg, 75, Richard Gottfried, 65, Rose Mallinger, 97, Jerry Rabinowitz, 66, Daniel Stein, 71, Melvin Wax, 88, and Irving Younger, 69.Also killed were brothers Cecil Rosenthal, 59, and David Rosenthal, 54; and Bernice Simon, 84, and her husband, Sylvan Simon, 86.Six people were injured in the rampage, including the four police officers. Three of the officers remain hospitalized, one in critical condition. Of the three civilians still in the hospital, one was in critical condition and two were in stable condition, officials said.Investigators said that minutes before carrying out the carnage, Bowers is believed to have posted his intent to commit the massacre on the social media platform Gab, which is popular with white supremacists and the alt-right.“Screw the optics, I’m going in,” reads a post believed to have been made by Bowers moments before the first gunshots were fired inside the temple.n addition to the federal charges, Bowers was also charged with 35 state offenses, including 11 counts of criminal homicide, six counts of criminal attempted homicide, six counts of aggravated assault and 13 counts of ethnic intimidation.The shooting rattled nerves across the country and globe and prompted an outpouring of support and condolences.In New York, the Empire State Building went dark except for an orange halo on the mast to honor the victims. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower also went dark in homage to the victims. The U.S. and the Israeli flags were also projected on walls of the of Jerusalem’s old city to show solidarity with the Pittsburgh Jewish community.The Pittsburgh Steelers also held a moment of silence before Sunday football game at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh to honor the victims.Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said the city of Pittsburgh will stand by the victims’ families and help them get through the tragedy.“Pittsburgh is a strong town. We are a resilient city,” Peduto said at Sunday’s news conference. “We’ll get through this darkest day in Pittsburgh’s history by working together.”Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Funeral to be held for Jassy Correia, the young mom whose body was found after being kidnapped from a Boston nightclub

first_imgWCVB(BOSTON) — The family of a 23-year-old woman who was kidnapped after celebrating her birthday at a Boston nightclub will hold a funeral for the young mother Saturday morning.Jassy Correia, who had a 2-year-old daughter, was kidnapped last weekend after leaving Venu Nightclub, after celebrating her birthday with friends, police said.Relatives held a wake for Correia Friday night at St. Peter’s Church in Dorchester, according to the Archdiocese of Boston. A private burial will follow Saturday’s funeral, which will also be held at St. Peter’s Church. Federal prosecutors charged Rhode Island resident Louis Coleman III with Correia’s kidnapping and killing after police in Delaware arrested Coleman; Correia’s body was found in the trunk of his car. Coleman, 32, was charged with federal interstate kidnapping resulting in death, which carries a mandatory life sentence. He could also face the death penalty.The Boston City Council is planning to hold a public hearing on nightclub safety in the wake of Correia’s death to discuss what Councilor Annissa Essaibi-George says are ways to “hold ourselves, our men and our nighttime venues accountable.”However, Suffolk County District Attorney Rachael Rollins told reporters on Friday that Correia “was right where every woman has every right to be — celebrating her birthday on a night out with friends.”“Let’s not fall into a discussion about whether we should walk home alone or how many people we should call when we’re leaving the club,” Rollins said. “If anything, let’s remind the men in our lives that violence against women isn’t a women’s issue — it’s a problem that men take responsibility for in their lives.”The cause of Correia’s death appears to have been blunt force trauma and strangulation, U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling told reporters. There’s no indication that she was sexually assaulted, Lelling added.“It appears she put up a struggle,” he said.Prosecutors say Coleman did not know Correia.Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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50 years later: ‘One Giant Leap’ author on the impact of Apollo 11’s moon mission

first_imgNASA(WASHINGTON) — With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, Charles Fishman, the author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission that Flew Us to the Moon, spoke to ABC News about the drive to answer President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 challenge to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.And he told the remarkable, little-known stories of the men and women behind the scenes who made that vision a reality.Until that time, going to the moon was the biggest undertaking not just by the United States, but that humans had ever attempted outside of the world wars. According to Fishman, “It wasn’t just one giant leap for the astronauts. It was one giant leap for the 400,000 people back on Earth who had to do the work to get the astronauts to the moon.”The space raceBy the time Kennedy outlined his goals for a space program, the Soviet Union’s space program was always one step ahead of the United States.That other superpower was the first to send a satellite, animals and humans into orbit, and Kennedy was looking to definitively re-establish American pre-eminence.“The race to the moon was born out of Cold War rivalry,” Fishman said.And at the end of a decade marked by the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, the Civil Rights movement and the women’s movement — the success of the Apollo 11 mission turned into a unifying moment, which enthralled and captured the imagination of a nation and a global audience.“Apollo reminded us what we were capable of when we worked together,” he added.The menThe first two men who walked on the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, had different approaches to their few minutes on the lunar surface. Fishman describes Armstrong as a “straight shooter,” while Buzz Aldrin was a “little wackier.”When Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon for the first time, they were actually scheduled to take a nap after being up from more than 20 hours.“They basically said, ‘Listen, we didn’t fly to the moon to go to sleep. We’re not going to sleep. We’re going to suit up and get outside,’” Fishman said.Aldrin, he said, spent three to four minutes racing around the moon “kangaroo-hopping.”Laying the foundation for human advancementFishman argues that Apollo laid the foundation for the digital revolution because of the intensity of computer development.“What happened was Microsoft and Apple and Google,” he said.Fishman points out that a lot of what is relied on now, and sometimes taken for granted, was pioneered in that era. The adoption of digital computing — sometimes referred to as the “Third Industrial Revolution” — marked a momentous shift.“One iPhone has more computing power than NASA had available, total, in all the computers they used during any particular space mission,” Fishman said.The biggest takeaway for Fishman is that eight years after Kennedy issued his challenge, Americans were walking on the moon.If someone called climate change an existential threat and issued a similar challenge to tackle it, Fishman said, the solutions are at hand.“There were 10,000 mysteries about flying to the moon,” Fishman said. “We didn’t know how to do it, and we did it. And so there is this element of, if we could go to the moon, can’t we solve the problems we have back on Earth?”His answer is “yes.”“It’s just that someone has to ask us to,” he said.  Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.,NASA(WASHINGTON) — With the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, Charles Fishman, the author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission that Flew Us to the Moon, spoke to ABC News about the drive to answer President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1961 challenge to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.And he told the remarkable, little-known stories of the men and women behind the scenes who made that vision a reality.Until that time, going to the moon was the biggest undertaking not just by the United States, but that humans had ever attempted outside of the world wars. According to Fishman, “It wasn’t just one giant leap for the astronauts. It was one giant leap for the 400,000 people back on Earth who had to do the work to get the astronauts to the moon.”The space raceBy the time Kennedy outlined his goals for a space program, the Soviet Union’s space program was always one step ahead of the United States.That other superpower was the first to send a satellite, animals and humans into orbit, and Kennedy was looking to definitively re-establish American pre-eminence.“The race to the moon was born out of Cold War rivalry,” Fishman said.And at the end of a decade marked by the Vietnam War, anti-war protests, the Civil Rights movement and the women’s movement — the success of the Apollo 11 mission turned into a unifying moment, which enthralled and captured the imagination of a nation and a global audience.“Apollo reminded us what we were capable of when we worked together,” he added.The menThe first two men who walked on the moon, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, had different approaches to their few minutes on the lunar surface. Fishman describes Armstrong as a “straight shooter,” while Buzz Aldrin was a “little wackier.”When Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the moon for the first time, they were actually scheduled to take a nap after being up from more than 20 hours.“They basically said, ‘Listen, we didn’t fly to the moon to go to sleep. We’re not going to sleep. We’re going to suit up and get outside,’” Fishman said.Aldrin, he said, spent three to four minutes racing around the moon “kangaroo-hopping.”Laying the foundation for human advancementFishman argues that Apollo laid the foundation for the digital revolution because of the intensity of computer development.“What happened was Microsoft and Apple and Google,” he said.Fishman points out that a lot of what is relied on now, and sometimes taken for granted, was pioneered in that era. The adoption of digital computing — sometimes referred to as the “Third Industrial Revolution” — marked a momentous shift.“One iPhone has more computing power than NASA had available, total, in all the computers they used during any particular space mission,” Fishman said.The biggest takeaway for Fishman is that eight years after Kennedy issued his challenge, Americans were walking on the moon.If someone called climate change an existential threat and issued a similar challenge to tackle it, Fishman said, the solutions are at hand.“There were 10,000 mysteries about flying to the moon,” Fishman said. “We didn’t know how to do it, and we did it. And so there is this element of, if we could go to the moon, can’t we solve the problems we have back on Earth?”His answer is “yes.”“It’s just that someone has to ask us to,” he said.  Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Pilot thanks kayakers who rescued him from small plane crash

first_imgBrett Easter(KENT, Washington) — A bright yellow ultralight plane made an incredible crash water landing and two nearby kayakers were in the right place at the right time to save the pilot’s day.Brett Easter took off from Norman Grier Field in Kent, Washington, on Monday unaware that he would have to make a quick maneuver to save his life.The propellers stopped moving shortly after takeoff and Easter told ABC News affiliate KOMO that he looked for a clear place to land setting his sights on Lake Morton.“At that point, you don’t know where the airplane is going,” he said. “I mean there are houses over here and no one deserves to pay for my engine failureSo Easter said he made a quick decision to land his plane on a lake and executed a perfect water landing.But upon landing in the water, he got tangled in his jacket and became trapped in the 47-degree water.Easter kicked ferociously for 10 minutes in an attempt to stay above water.“I was totally expecting not to wake up from it,” he said.Just as it seemed like all hope was lost, two good Samaritans appeared on a kayak and came to his aid.“Robert was yelling at him, ‘Stay up, you’re going to be okay, this isn’t your day. Not today,’” Lori Jurek told ABC News.Robert Thomas said that they watched the plane go down and paddled over to the scene. They helped Easter keep his head above water while a canoe brought them back to shore.“I just jumped in and was paddling as fast as I could and I’m turning 60 this month, so it wasn’t as easy as it used to be,” Lori said.“Everything worked perfectly for him to survive this,” Thomas added. “The day, the time, everything.”The young pilot spent a night at the hospital, according to KOMO, but still had water in his lungs when he was released.Despite the turbulent start with his new aircraft, Easter said it won’t keep him down.“I’m definitely not done flying. It’s not gonna keep me out of the sky. One engine failure’s not gonna do it for me,” he said.The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.Copyright © 2019, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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At coronavirus epicenter, 28 NYC schoolteachers have died from the virus

first_imgnarvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, IVAN PEREIRA and MEREDITH DELISO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 210,000 people worldwide.More than three million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks. Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 985,000 diagnosed cases and at least 55,906 deaths. Here’s how the news developed Monday. All times Eastern:7:43 p.m: CDC updates COVID-19 testing prioritiesThe CDC has announced revised guidelines for COVID-19 testing.Per the CDC, high priorities for testing include hospitalized patients, health care facility workers and first responders with symptoms, and residents in long-term care facilities with symptoms.Those with symptoms of potential COVID-19 infection, as well as asymptomatic people identified by public health screening and monitoring, are also a priority for testing.The full testing criteria can be found on the CDC’s website.6:51 p.m: Washington state parks to start reopening May 5Washington state will reopen some outdoor recreation on May 5, Gov. Jay Inslee announced.State parks, state lands, state fish and wildlife areas and golf courses will be allowed to reopen for day use.Only groups of two people, or four if they are from the same household, can play golf together.Public gatherings, team sports and camping remain prohibited.Local jurisdictions could still maintain stricter orders, the governor said.Washington’s stay-at-home order is in effect through May 4.5:45 p.m: Gov. Newsom chastises California beachgoersCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom had a few words for beachgoers in Orange and Ventura counties.“This virus doesn’t take the weekends off,” Newsom said at his daily press briefing Monday, responding to images of weekend crowds at the county beaches.He later addressed beachgoers again, saying, “Who does that? You’re so close.”Newsom said the state is “just a few weeks away” from making changes to California’s stay-at-home order, and these behaviors “will set us back.”California’s stay-at-home order is in effect indefinitely. Beach openings vary by county and city.Ventura County has “soft closures” at local beaches, with sunbathing, chairs and umbrellas prohibited. Orange County has some restrictions to beach access and parking.All Los Angeles County beaches are closed. San Diego County beaches were closed over the weekend, but some reopened Monday.5:05 p.m.: 68 NYC DOE employees have died from COVID-19The New York City Department of Education has lost 68 employees to COVID-19 as of Monday, the department said.That includes 28 teachers, 25 paraprofessionals, three central office employees, two administrators, two guidance counselors and two food service staffers.New York City schools will be closed for the rest of this school year, with students learning remotely instead. Free meals will remain available for students who need them. 3:45 p.m.: NBA workouts eyed for May 8 startNBA players might be able to suit up for workouts after May 8, the league announced Monday.Per new rules, should workouts be allowed after the new earliest target date, no more than four players would be allowed at a facility at once, no coaches could participate and players would be prohibited from using non-team facilities such as public health clubs and gyms. Group activity, including practices and scrimmages, would not be allowed, the NBA said.The possibility of opening limited workouts only applies to players in cities that are not subject to government restrictions. The May 8 date will be pushed back if warranted.The NBA indefinitely suspended the season in March after a player on the Utah Jazz preliminarily tested positive for COVID-19.2:56 p.m.: Ohio governor reveals reopening planOhio Gov. Mike DeWine revealed the plan to reopen his state starting on Friday.The rollout will begin with three phases, the first being non-elective medical procedures, dentist offices and vets. On May 4, manufacturing, distribution and construction will be allowed to resume.General office work would also be allowed to continue, but DeWine encouraged those businesses to work remotely if they can.There are strict rules in place for those businesses including mandatory face coverings for all employees, mandatory daily health assessments, multiple cleanings during the day and a limit of 50% of fire-code capacity for each workplace, according to the governor’s office.If an employee gets sick, the employer must alert the state health department and shut down the business for deep sanitation, if possible, DeWine said.On May 12, the governor will allow retail to reopen, however workers and customers must wear facial coverings. DeWine said his stay-at-home order will remain in effect, and gatherings of 10 or more people are prohibited.2:12 p.m.: Massachusetts cases plateauing: GovernorMassachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the number of cases in his state appears to be plateauing, but cautioned that it is “very much still in the fight against COVID-19.”The Massachusetts Health Department said there were 1,590 newly recorded cases on Sunday and 169 newly reported fatalities. As of Monday, the state had 54,938 confirmed cases and 2,899 total deaths, the state health department said.“The flatness of the flat curve basically means it’s been riding up like this for a while, it seems to have plateaued depending upon which part of Massachusetts you are in,” Baker said during his briefing Monday.The state’s stay-at-home order ends on May 4, and Baker said he would have more information about his plan to reopen Massachusetts later in the week. He did caution that the situation was different from other states in the country that have already reopened.“I’m not surprised they’re starting to think pretty hard about reopening. For them the surge was nothing like it was in the Northeast,” he said.1:01 p.m.: Cuomo says some NY counties may be ready to open on May 15New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that he will likely be extending the shelter-in-place orders for several counties past the state’s current May 15 deadline.“In some regions you could make the cause that you could un-pause in other parts of the state,” he said during his daily briefing.The number of new coronavirus-related hospitalizations is around 1,000 a day, according to the state’s data. There were 337 new deaths recorded on Sunday, bringing the total number of New York COVID-19 fatalities to 17,303, according to the state data.Cuomo reiterated that the state needed to do more testing and contact tracing in order to properly open parts of the state.12:20 p.m.: New York cancels presidential primaryNew York State’s Board of Elections voted to drop the presidential primary that was initially postponed to June 23.The board’s Democratic members voted during a phone meeting and said it was costly to hold the election after Sen. Bernie Sanders dropped out of the race and endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden. Sanders had pushed for the primary to continue and urged the board to keep the date and find alternatives to in-person voting.“What the Sanders supporters want is essentially a beauty contest, that given the situation with the public health emergency that exists now, seems to be unnecessary and indeed frivolous,” Doug Kellner, a Democratic commissioner for the BOE said.New York became the first state to not hold its presidential primary this year. The state’s Republicans canceled their presidential primary in February since the president was the only person on the ballot.BOE Democratic commissioner Andrew Spano said he was concerned about people jeopardizing their health by going to the polls.“I’ve come to the conclusion that we should minimize the number of people on the ballot, minimize the election for the protection of everybody,” he said.When asked about the decision, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he would defer to the election board.“I’m not going to second guess the board of elections. I know there are a number of election employees who are nervous about conducting an election but I’ll leave it up to the board of elections,” he said during his daily briefing.Special elections in select New York counties that are slated for June 23 will still go on, and all voters will have a chance to vote via absentee ballots, according to the board of elections.10:41 a.m.: NYC to open up 40 miles of streets to pedestrians, will hire 1,000 disease detectivesNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that he and the city council came to an agreement over a plan that would shut down 40 miles of streets to vehicular traffic and give people more free space as the weather gets warmer.De Blasio said during his daily briefing on Monday that there has been concern about big crowds gathering in parks and said it was sensible to spread them out. The mayor said that he is committed to opening up to 100 miles of streets to pedestrians if need be.“The focus here will be on … where the need is greatest. There are so many communities that have been hardest hit by COVID,” he said.The exact locations will be determined by the mayor’s office, city council, police and transportation department, and de Blasio said one of the locations eyed for the program are the streets near parks.“We will capture the natural flow of people,” he said “One of the most important places to open is where people are going anyways.”“If you had experience in health care field, if you want to lend your talents to the fight, we need you immediately,” de Blasio said.9:27 a.m.: Russian military reports over 2,000 positive casesThe Russian military has reported more than 2,000 cases of COVID-19 among its servicemen, civilian employees and cadets.Russia’s Ministry of Defense revealed on Sunday night that at least 874 military servicemen and 245 civilian employees have tested positive for the disease.Another 971 positive cases were found among cadets and teachers at military schools across the country, according to the defense ministry.More than 87,000 people in Russia have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 794 of them have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.8:04 a.m.: USNS Comfort getting ready to depart New York CityThe U.S. Navy is planning for its hospital ship to depart New York City on Thursday and return to the naval base in Norfolk, Virginia.The USNS Comfort has been docked in the city for weeks to help area hospitals with the influx of patients amid the coronavirus pandemic. Medical staff were seen aboard the naval hospital ship Monday morning, breaking down the medical stations and taking inventory.Before the vessel can depart, Navy officials must go through a checklist and make sure everything is functioning. Weather could also be a determining factor on whether the ship can leave Thursday.Medical personnel who worked in the ship’s coronavirus ward will begin their 14-day isolation on board. It’s unclear where they will continue isolating once the ship arrives back in Norfolk.7:12 a.m.: Volkswagen reopens Europe’s largest car factory after coronavirus shutdownVolkswagen, the world’s largest automaker by sales, resumed production at its biggest factory on Monday.Some 8,000 employees returned to the plant in the northern German city of Wolfsburg, the largest car factory in Europe, with “significantly expanded” measures to protect the health of the company’s workforce, according to a press release from Volkswagen.The company said it expects some 1,400 cars to have been built at the Wolfsburg plant by the end of this week. Next week, production will ramp up to more than 6,000 vehicles — approximately 40% of production prior to the start of the coronavirus pandemic.“Step-by-step resumption of production is an important signal for the workforce, dealerships, suppliers and the wider economy,” Ralf Brandstaetter, chief operating officer of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said in a statement Monday. “In terms of managing the crisis, though, this is just the first step. Additional momentum is needed to stimulate demand in Germany and throughout Europe so that production volumes can be successively increased.”Volkswagen said it has imposed new measures at the factory for hygiene and physical distancing. Employees are expected to take their temperatures at home every morning and go through a health checklist before they leave for work. Walkway diversions have been set up at the plant to avoid contacts, while markers on the floors will help employees maintain a 1.5-meter distance from one another. Face masks must be worn in areas where this is not possible.The company said employees are also being given more time to disinfect their tools, and several hundred additional hand-washing facilities are being installed throughout the Wolfsburg plant.Volkswagen was forced to halt production at the factory and several others in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.6:27 a.m.: France reports major drop in daily death tollFrance has reported a major drop in its daily death toll from the novel coronavirus.The European country recorded 242 more deaths on Sunday, down from 369 new deaths the previous day, bringing the national tally to 22,856, according to health officials.The number of new deaths that occurred in hospitals — 152 — was the lowest daily toll so far in the country’s battle against the outbreak.France is one of the worst-affected countries in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 162,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.The country and several others in Europe are preparing to loosen restrictions after several weeks of total lockdowns.6:08 a.m.: Italy unveils plan for life after lockdownItalian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte laid out a plan on Sunday night for gradually easing restrictions across the country after seven weeks of lockdown.Construction sites, factories and wholesale supply businesses can resume work Monday or as soon as they implement safety measures against the novel coronavirus, Conte said.Starting May 4, parks will reopen, people will be allowed to visit relatives within the same region, restaurants can provide takeaway services and athletes will be able to resume training for individual sports. However, Conte insisted that social distancing must remain at all times and large gatherings will not be permitted.“If you love Italy, keep your distance,” Conte said in a televised address to the nation on Sunday night.Then if all goes well, shops, museums and libraries will reopen on May 18, followed by bars, restaurants, cafes and beauty salons on June 1. Schools, however, will not reopen before September, Conte said.Italy, one of the worst-hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic, has been under a nationwide lockdown since March 9. More than 197,000 people in the European country have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and over 26,000 have died, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.4:42 a.m.: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson returns to work after recoveryU.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson returned to work Monday after recovering from COVID-19.The prime minister delivered a statement Monday morning for the first time since his battle with the novel coronavirus.“I’m sorry I’ve been away from my desk for much longer than I would have liked,” Johnson told reporters outside his official residence and office in London, 10 Downing Street. “If this virus were a physical assailant, an unexpected and invisible mugger — which I can tell you from personal experience it is — then this is the moment when we have begun together to wrestle it to the floor.”More than 154,000 people in the United Kingdom have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and at least 20,795 have died from the disease, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Johnson said the country is making progress in its efforts to control the virus outbreak and there are “real signs now that we are passing through the peak,” with the number of admissions to National Health Service hospitals down and fewer COVID-19 patients in intensive care.“And that’s why we are now beginning to turn the tide,” he said. “We collectively flattened the peak.”The prime minister acknowledged the impact the nationwide lockdown has had on the U.K. economy and its citizens, but he indicated it would be premature to start lifting the restrictions now.“I can see the longterm consequences of lockdown as clearly as anyone,” he said. “And yet we must also recognize the risk of a second spike, the risk of losing control of that virus.”Johnson told reporters a new wave of infections and death would be an “economic disaster” for the country.“I refuse to throw away all the effort and sacrifice of the British people and to risk a second major outbreak and huge loss of life and the overwhelming of the NHS,” he said. “I ask you to contain your impatience because I believe we are coming now to the end of the first phase of this conflict.”Once officials are certain the first phase is over, the prime minister said, then it will be time to move onto the “second phase” in which the country continues to suppress the disease while beginning to gradually ease restrictions and reopen the economy.“And in that process, difficult judgments will be made,” he added, “and we simply cannot spell out now how fast or slow or even when those changes will be made, though clearly the government will be saying much more about this in the coming days.”ABC News’ Christopher Donato, Ibtissem Guenfoud, Tom Llamas, Alina Lobzina and Phoebe Natanson contributed to this report.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. 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Coronavirus updates: Big 12 announces fall football as other conferences postpone

first_img1:15 p.m.: All NJ schools can reopenNew Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said Wednesday that he’s signing an executive order clearing pre-K through grade-12 schools, as well as colleges and universities, to reopen for the upcoming academic year.All of these schools can open if the institutions desire and if social distancing and other protections are strictly adhered to, Murphy said.School districts that can’t meet all health and safety standards for in-class learning must begin the year with all-remote learning, Murphy said. Those districts must provide plans for reaching those standards and the anticipated date to be back in classrooms, he said.Any student who chooses remote learning must be accommodated, he said.“There is no one-size-fits all plan,” he tweeted.12 p.m.: Big 12 Conference moves forward with fall sports including footballThe Big 12 Conference will move forward with fall sports this year, officials announced Wednesday.Athletes in high-contact sports including football will get three COVID-19 tests per week, officials said.Schools not in the Big 12 Conference must follow those testing rules in the week leading up to games against Big 12 schools, officials said.“We are comfortable in our institutions’ ability to provide a structured training environment, rigorous testing and surveillance, hospital quality sanitation and mitigation practices that optimize the health and safety of our student-athletes,” Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “We believe all of this combines to create an ideal learning and training situation during this time of COVID-19.”“Ultimately, our student-athletes have indicated their desire to compete in the sports they love this season and it is up to all of us to deliver a safe, medically sound, and structured academic and athletic environment for accomplishing that outcome,” Bowlsby said.Officials with the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences said Tuesday they are postponing all sports including football.11:45 a.m.: No guests at the 2020 MastersThis year’s Masters Tournament will take place without any guests or patrons, Fred Ridley, Chairman of Augusta National Golf Club, said Wednesday.The tournament, initially set for April, was rescheduled due to the pandemic and will be held Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.“We determined that the potential risks of welcoming patrons and guests to our grounds in November are simply too significant to overcome,” Ridley said in a statement.11 a.m.: Over 550,000 diagnosed in FloridaIn hard-hit Florida, Miami-Dade County reported 4,105 new cases on Tuesday, the highest one-day reported total for the county during the pandemic, according to the state’s Department of Health.This is likely due to a backlog of cases reported following the tracking system’s temporary shutdown. Miami-Dade County has been reporting a range between 1,210 and 1,808 new daily cases over the last week.Over 550,000 people in the state have been diagnosed with COVID-19. At least 8,897 people have died, according to the Department of Health. The state reported 212 new deaths in the last 24 hours.10 a.m.: 2020 Paris Marathon canceledThis year’s Paris Marathon, set for November, has now been canceled due to the pandemic, officials announced Wednesday.Organizers said it would be especially difficult for runners coming from abroad to make it to the event.Runners who were signed up for this year’s marathon are automatically signed up for next year’s, organizers said.9 a.m.: NJ district to go all virtual after 402 teachers say they can’t work in schoolNew Jersey’s Elizabeth Public Schools will go 100% virtual after 402 teachers said they’d need “special considerations for health-related risks and cannot teach in person,” Superintendent Olga Hugelmeyer said in a letter to parents Tuesday.With five weeks until school begins and “insufficient staff to safely reopen,” “it is unfruitful to continue to pursue something that cannot occur,” Hugelmeyer wrote. “We will spend the next five weeks working to create the best virtual experience possible,” she said.Meanwhile, New Jersey educators are calling on Gov. Phil Murphy and the state’s Department of Education to direct all state public schools to open remotely. Dr. Richard Bozza, executive director of the New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Patricia Wright, executive director of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association and Marie Blistan, president of the New Jersey Education Association, said in a letter Tuesday, “reopening schools for in-person instruction under the current conditions poses too great a risk to the health of students and schools staff.”8:01 a.m.: Russia’s COVID-19 case count tops 900,000Russia reported 5,102 new cases of COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing its tally soaring past 900,000. The country also reported an additional 129 fatalities. The nationwide total now stands at 902,701 confirmed cases with 15,260 deaths, according to data released Wednesday morning by Russia’s coronavirus response headquarters. Russia’s latest daily caseload is down from a peak of 11,656 new infections reported on May 11.Russia has the fourth-highest highest number of diagnosed COVID-19 cases in the world, behind the United States, Brazil and India, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that his country has become the first in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine. Critics say the vaccine was approved before the final Phase III trial and that no scientific data from the early trials has been released so far.7:16 a.m.: Over 1,000 students in Georgia school district under quarantineMore than 1,000 students in a single Georgia school district have been ordered to self-quarantine this month after at least 70 cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in various schools. The Cherokee County School District has published data on its website showing at least 1,130 students and 38 staff members from more than a dozen schools are under mandated two-week quarantines. The district reopened its schools on Aug. 3, welcoming back 30,000 students for in-person learning.Many of the confirmed cases were identified at Etowah High School in Woodstock, Georgia. The Cherokee County School District announced Tuesday that it is temporarily closing Etowah High School, with the hope of resuming in-person classes there on Aug. 31. “This decision was not made lightly,” the school district said in a statement Tuesday. “As of this morning, the number of positive cases at the school had increased to a total of 14, with tests for another 15 students pending; and, as a result of the confirmed cases, 294 students and staff are under quarantine and, should the pending tests prove positive, that total would increase dramatically.”6:33 a.m.: First dog to test positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina diesThe first dog to test positive for COVID-19 in North Carolina has died, officials said.The dog, who had been showing signs of respiratory distress, was brought to the NC State Veterinary Hospital on the evening of Aug. 3, after the owner noticed the onset of distress earlier in the day, according to a press release from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.The dog ultimately succumbed to the “acute illness,” and its owner alerted veterinary staff that a member of the family had previously tested positive for the novel coronavirus but later tested negative.Samples were collected from the dog and sent to the National Veterinary Services Laboratories, which confirmed a positive test result for COVID-19. The dog’s family, along with state health officials, were notified.“A necropsy was performed to try to determine the animal’s state of health at the time of death and the cause of death, and the complete investigation is ongoing,” the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Tuesday.There is currently no evidence that pets play a significant role in spreading COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service.5:20 a.m.: Two men facing charges for allegedly hosting house party in NashvilleTwo men are facing criminal charges for violating public health emergency orders by allegedly throwing a large party at their house in Nashville, Tennessee earlier this month.The Metropolitan Nashville Police Department has issued arrest warrants for Christopher Eubank, 40, and Jeffrey Mathews, 36, who were both reported to be out of state Tuesday night and have been told to surrender upon returning to Nashville. Eubank and Mathews are each charged with three separate counts — all misdemeanors — of violating health orders by hosting a gathering in excess of 25 people, not requiring social distancing and not requiring face coverings.Police said hundreds of people attended the Aug. 1 party at the property owned by Eubank and Mathews, located on Fern Avenue in Tennessee’s capital. Patrol officers responded to the home late that night and ultimately directed that the party cease.Cellphone footage, obtained by Nashville ABC affiliate WKRN-TV, purportedly shows large crowds of people at the party wearing no masks and not maintaining social distancing. 4:39 a.m.: Nearly one-third of Kentucky’s new cases among teensNearly one-third of new COVID-19 cases in Kentucky at the end of July were among those 19 years old or younger, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News Tuesday night.In Mississippi, Black residents represented 58.5% of the state’s new cases during the period from July 5 through Aug. 1 — a 37.2% difference between cases and census racial distribution, according to the FEMA memo.Meanwhile, the test-positivity rate was greater than 10% last week in Arkansas, where 5,593 additional cases were reported and two counties have emerged as new hotspots. Logan County reported 90 new cases last week, an increase of 428% and a test-positivity rate of 17.59%. Poinsett County reported 74 new cases, an increase of 189% and a test-positivity rate of 15.43%, according to the FEMA memo.However, the national test-positivity rate continues to decline. Over the past seven days, the rate was 6.6% — down from 7.9% from the previous week. The nation also saw a 12.7% decrease in new cases as well as a 4.3% decrease in new deaths being confirmed over the last week, compared with the previous seven-day period, according to the FEMA memo.The memo shows that just five states and territories are in an upward trajectory of new cases, while two states are at a plateau and 49 states are going down.3:45 a.m.: US records more than 1,000 new deaths from COVID-19There were 46,808 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.An additional 1,082 coronavirus-related deaths were also reported — more than double the amount from the previous day.Still, it’s the third consecutive day that the nation has recorded less than 50,000 new cases. Tuesday’s caseload is also well below the record set on July 16, when more than 77,000 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.A total of 5,141,208 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 164,537 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.Many states have seen a rise in infections in recent weeks, with some — including Arizona, California and Florida — reporting daily records. However, the nationwide number of new cases and deaths in the last week have both decreased in week-over-week comparisons, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency obtained by ABC News Tuesday night. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved. narvikk/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR and EMILY SHAPIRO, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 744,000 people worldwide.Over 20.4 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks.Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 5 million diagnosed cases and at least 164,994 deaths.Here’s how the news is developing today. All times Eastern. last_img read more

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Coronavirus updates: US reports more than 1,300 new deaths in a single day

first_imgOvidiu Dugulan/iStockBy MORGAN WINSOR, ABC News(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 781,000 people worldwide.Over 22 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some national governments are hiding or downplaying the scope of their outbreaks. Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 5.4 million diagnosed cases and at least 171,823 deaths. Here’s how the news is developing Wednesday. All times Eastern:9:19 a.m.: Iran’s coronavirus death toll tops 20,000There were 168 additional coronavirus-related fatalities in Iran on Wednesday, bringing the country’s death toll past 20,000, according to a tally kept by Johns Hopkins University. It’s another grim milestone for the nation of 80 million people, which has the largest COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East with more than 350,000 diagnosed cases.Nevertheless, Iran still plans to hold university entrance exams for over one million students. The Islamic Republic is also preparing for mass commemorations at the end of the month for the ninth and tenth days of Muharram, which marks the start of the Islamic New Year.7:15 a.m.: Pope warns against vaccine priority for the richPope Francis said Wednesday that a COVID-19 vaccine should be “for everyone” and not made a priority for the rich.“How sad it would be if for the COVID-19 vaccine priority is given to the richest,” Francis said during his weekly general audience at the Vatican, which was held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.“It would be sad,” he added, “if the vaccine became property of such and such nation and not universal for everyone.”The pope noted how COVID-19 “has uncovered the plight of the poor and the great inequality that reigns in the world.”“The pandemic is a crisis. You don’t come out of it the same — either better or worse,” he said. “We must come out better.”6:34 a.m.: India records 1,092 more deathsIndia’s health ministry recorded 1,092 additional coronavirus-related deaths in the past 24 hours, bringing the nationwide toll to 52,889.The latest single-day rise in fatalities is lower than India’s record of 2,003 deaths reported on June 16.The country of 1.3 billion people has the world’s fourth-highest death toll from COVID-19, behind the United States, Brazil and Mexico, according to a real-time tally kept by Johns Hopkins University.More than 2.7 million people in India have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began — the third-highest count in the world.5:39 a.m.: ‘We are not seeing a surge in community cases,’ says New Zealand PMNew Zealand reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, five of which were locally transmitted and are linked to a cluster of cases in the country’s most populous city.The national total now stands at 1,299 cases, 96 of which are active, according to data published on the health ministry’s website.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the latest figures were “encouraging.”“At this stage, we are not seeing a surge in community cases,” Ardern said at a press conference Wednesday. “We have not seen any new cases outside of that identified Auckland cluster.”Health officials are still investigating how the outbreak in Auckland started after the country went 102 days without any local transmission. The new cluster of cases was discovered there last week, prompting authorities to impose a two-week lockdown in the region and to reschedule national elections.4:45 a.m.: France will require face masks in offices starting next monthFrance’s labor ministry announced Tuesday that face masks will be required in enclosed shared office spaces starting Sept. 1, citing an “upsurge” in COVID-19 cases.Mask will not be mandatory in individual offices so long as only one person is present, the ministry said.The wearing of face masks is already compulsory in public indoor spaces across France. Several cities, including Paris and Marseille, have imposed mask requirements in some outdoor areas, such as popular beaches.There were 2,238 new cases of COVID-19 identified in France on Tuesday, according to the health ministry, which is requiring on-the-spot tests for travelers coming from over a dozen nations with active virus circulation, including the United States. 3:50 a.m.: US reports more than 1,300 new deaths in a single dayThere were 44,813 new cases of COVID-19 identified in the United States on Tuesday, according to a count kept by Johns Hopkins University.Tuesday’s tally is well below the country’s record set on July 16, when 77,255 new cases were identified in a 24-hour reporting period.An additional 1,324 coronavirus-related deaths were also recorded Tuesday — a nearly threefold increase from the previous day but still under the record 2,666 new deaths that were reported on April 17.A total of 5,482,602 people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the pandemic began, and at least 171,823 of them have died, according to Johns Hopkins. The cases include people from all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C. and other U.S. territories as well as repatriated citizens.By May 20, all U.S. states had begun lifting stay-at-home orders and other restrictions put in place to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. The day-to-day increase in the country’s cases then hovered around 20,000 for a couple of weeks before shooting back up and crossing 70,000 for the first time in mid-July.While week-over-week comparisons show that the nationwide number of new cases has continued to decrease in recent weeks, the number of new deaths has increased, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, obtained by ABC News on Tuesday night. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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‘Monumental’ task remains as NYC delays opening schools, leaders say

first_imgfernandogarciaesteban/iStockBY: MEREDITH DELISO, ABC NEWS(NEW YORK) — Families and educators pushing for a delay to the start of the New York City school year breathed a sigh of relief this week, as city officials announced in-person learning is postponed. But for some, the relief was temporary.With a majority of the district’s 1.1 million students planning to return to buildings during the coronavirus pandemic, city officials have acknowledged the task is no easy one, and questions on details remain, leaders say.On Tuesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the start of in-person learning in New York City public schools had been delayed to Sept. 21 to give schools more time to get staff trained in health and safety protocols and prepare for both remote and blended learning. The district’s blended-learning plan was initially set to begin on Sept. 10.The move followed weeks of campaigns from unions, administrators, community leaders, medical professionals and teachers urging the city to postpone in-person learning amid concerns about reopening safely. The United Federation of Teachers, the city’s largest teachers union, was set to vote on a strike authorization hours before de Blasio’s announcement.“Teachers, who usually get two days of professional development at the beginning of the school year, will now get nine,” schools Chancellor Richard Carranza said Tuesday. “We’ve heard from everyone in our schools that have said we need some more time.”While acknowledging a victory, some officials outlined the work that lies ahead. New York City Councilman Brad Lander said on social media he was “relieved” about the delay. “Now we need to double-down and use the time to insist on real progress on what needs to happen to make schools safe for learning,” he said, including details such as testing protocols, ventilation inspections and staffing shortages.“The City still needs to use the delay to inspect every building, get nurses & PPE & testing in every school, roll out childcare plans, and support schools to implement outdoor learning,” he added.For Cathy Grodsky, president of the District 26 Presidents’ Council, an organization of the Queens district’s PTA presidents, there’s one “basic question” of which many parents still wonder: “Who will be teaching our children?”“We need the details, we can’t wait any longer,” Grodsky, who has four school-age children, told ABC News. “Who will be teaching our children remote, and who will be teaching our children in person if they go?”“When we’re up against this pandemic, and bringing people back into these buildings, the devil is in the details,” she added.MORE-UFT, a caucus within the UFT, welcomed the delay, but said in a statement that the agreement “does nothing to address myriad other concerns raised by advocates, teachers and parents.” Those concerns include the “increased risk for schools in neighborhoods with high infection rates, the safety of students eating meals indoors, safety concerns around mass transit and an underfunded MTA, or the massive budget cuts that Gov. Cuomo is pushing through at the state level, possible layoffs still looming, and what those cuts will mean for class sizes and safety.”Tuesday’s announcement gave some clarity on safety and testing protocols as schools plan to reopen for hybrid learning. Buildings or rooms that do not meet safety standards based on the UFT’s 50-item safety checklist — including social distancing of student desks, the availability of masks and face shields, and a room-by-room review of ventilation effectiveness — will remain closed, the union said.As of Monday, the UFT had inspected more than 1,000 of the roughly 1,400 buildings in the district, with plans to finish the rest this week, a UFT spokesperson told ABC News.Schools will be provided daily with a 30-day supply of PPE, including masks and disinfectant, Carranza said Tuesday.Starting Oct. 1, schools will test monthly a random sample of 10-20% of its on-site students and staff for COVID-19. Testing will be free, with results within 48 hours, the city said. Those who test positive will be quarantined for 14 days, and city contact tracing teams will work to find potential contacts. A class will go remote if it has a case, while more than one case in a school will move the entire school to remote instruction until contact tracing is completed, the city said.Schools will also switch to remote instruction if the city’s seven-day rolling average of positive tests is 3% or higher. It has been hoving at around 1% since late July.The UFT had initially demanded universal testing of all students and teachers. On Tuesday, de Blasio said that the monthly mandatory testing program was “a way to do this in a way that makes sense and is attainable for a school system this large.” With 1.1 million students, New York City is the largest school district in the country, and the only big-city school system planning to reopen for in-person teaching this month.Grodsky had hoped to see earlier and more frequent testing as schools reopen, pointing to COVID-19 outbreaks on college campuses.“It should be a clear warning sign for all of us,” she said. “It seems like it’s a recipe for failure.”MORE-UFT called attention to over 300 nurse vacancies in its statement. On Tuesday, Deputy Mayor Dean Fuleihan said that the city was on track to have “the available nurses in every one of our buildings.”As for information on free child care that will be made available to 100,000 students, including the application process, details will come “very shortly,” de Blasio said Wednesday.Parents who had planned to start sending their children to school in-person next week will now also need to scramble. “This 11th-hour decision-making is unfair to everyone,” Grodsky said.De Blasio acknowledged Tuesday that families will need to make accommodations, but said it is a “modest change to resolve outstanding issues.”For some, the delay isn’t enough time to address safety concerns. New York state assembly member Alicia Hyndman, a self-described public school parent, said on social media that she was “pleased to hear” about the postponement, “but let’s be honest that is not enough time.” She recommended delaying until Oct. 10 “to get this done the right way.”Mark Cannizzaro, president of the Council of School Supervisors and Administrators, said in a statement that the Department of Education must now “seize this time” to “implement necessary safety protocols, program classes, and align all school staff towards critical goals for this unimaginable school year.”“The task before us is still monumental,” he said.Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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